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1st XV Match Preview V Plymouth Albion (Home) Sat 30/10/2010 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW

 

THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW- by Mike Pollak, in the absence of Joe Heaton this week.


Moseley v Plymouth Albion - RFU Championship at Billesley Common - Saturday, October 30, 3.00pm, Kick off 3.00 pm.
 


 

Has Moseley’s stuttering season performed a dramatic U-turn? It felt that way as Moseley fans came away from Bees’ new Damson Park ground last Friday grinning in disbelief at the most extraordinary of finishes.

For the last sixty minutes of a tight match, they had watched a gutsy Mose team battle valiantly to contain a lively Bees pack and a back line whose players threatened every time they laid hand on ball.

Moseley had done extraordinarily well to be only 20-15 down, but somehow with a couple of minutes left managed to bounce off the ropes to deliver the ultimate one, two, three knockout punch.

First full-back Ollie Thomas despatched a sublime 70 yard kick down the touchline from his own 22 into the Bees corner. Moseley’s forwards duly snaffled the lineout then pummelled the Bees line with further lineouts, scrums and drives that brought the Bees players to their knees as replacement prop Yann Thomas wriggled over in the corner.

Up stepped Ollie to plant Bees firmly on the canvas with a superb touchline kicked fired straight between the posts. The large contingent of Mose fans celebrated as much in relief, as exultation, and cheered their players for their sheer doggedness. It was just the tonic Mose needed to restore self-belief after the previous weekend’s 68-22 pounding by London Welsh.

Coincidentally, Mose will this Saturday meet a Plymouth Albion team whose players will themselves be trying desperately to do a repair job on punctured pride and erase memories of a 41-3 rout at the hands of a rapidly improving Doncaster last Saturday.

The reverse was even more surprising as Plymouth had beaten Rotherham at home and achieved a creditable draw at Esher in two previous matches.  But the Doncaster debacle has enabled Moseley to leapfrog Plymouth in the table, so for the second week running Mose will be playing the team immediately below.

                    P    W    D    L    Pts for    Pts agst    Pts diff   BP    Pts   Pos     

Moseley         9    2     2    5    168         290           -122     1     13    10th 

Bees             9    2     1    6     131         260           -129     1      11    11th

The points’ difference of the two teams is almost exactly the same, but this hides a stark contrast – the Devonians sit bottom of the League’s lowest try scorers with just 11, compared with Moseley’s 22.

Fly-half Alex Davies has been Plymouth’s main source of points, with 70 from his boot, plus further 10 through two tries. He wasn’t playing against Doncaster, but coach Graham Dawe is hardly likely to allow that as a credible excuse for Plymouth’s capitulation. His experience as a former Bath and England player, plus a decade at the helm of Plymouth where an excellent forward-based game has often been the norm, will see to that.

He will be demanding his players get their season back on track and Moseley will need to approach this game with the same never-say-die attitude displayed against Bees last Friday. 

Even so, Moseley will realistically hope to continue the upward curve and register what would be a first home win of the season especially as some of the injured key players could be returning from injury. Hopefully, Houdini heroics won’t be needed this week.

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